Dynamic Range and RAW vs. JPEG
Rock versus j peg. Now, this is one of those decisions that every one of you photographers going face in your photographic careers and well, I'm here to tell you this video that there's not one file format that's definitively better than the other, both these actually have their strengths and weaknesses, and I want to talk about them in this video and kind of, well, the merits of each. Now first, with j peg, peg is most likely going to be the default file format for those that are buying a new camera and there's a very good reason for this manufactures assume that when you buy a new camera, most people that are new to photography they don't want to jump into well, more specifically the postproduction side of photography. And so they come defaulted to j peg. Why? Because, well, a jpeg file is finished right from the camera. That's. Right? Why would you hit the capture button? We talked about before how the file goes into the buffer and it gets processed inside the bumper and comes out, ...
eh? Jpeg. Now, when that comes out it's ready to print its ready to do whatever you like uploaded to your facebook is your new profile picture, because we all love new profile pictures now the thing is here is that with a jpeg file is processing camera, and that means that you don't have the leeway to basically do additional processing or well, you do have additional process, but you can't remove things that are added by the camera. For example, if the camera makes the image to contrast, if there's too much blacks, if there's too much saturation it's more difficult to remove these things and sometimes impossible in post production than it is to add them if you need to, but there's also other advantage jpeg, so one of them we know is based on the jpeg file format is finished coming out of the camera. We don't have to do any additional post production work, but also the jpeg file format is much smaller. In fact, it could be one third or one quarter the size of a raw file. So is save space on your memory card, but more importantly, it actually allows you to shoot mohr images at one time because it fills the buffer less quickly. So if you're shooting action and you find that you're in raw and the cameras constantly stopping and choking this tryingto transfer all these files over the memory card? Well, that's a situation where shooting j pick can help with that it allowed you to capture more frames before the camera has to stop and transfer those images to a memory card in addition a faster memory card will help with that as well now that concludes the benefits to the jpeg file format so what about a raw file? Well when shooting and wrong what we're telling the camera is we want to capture all of the information that that sensor in the camera is can possibly capture so we're getting everything that could possibly captured and basically we're getting in an unfinished format the raw file format is proprietary to each camera maker that means that every cannon maker they have their own system for example on a nikon they refer to their raw files as dot any f files on a cannon they are cr two files regards of the brand of the make these files are proprietary so they are specific to the manufacturer now once you get those files if you load them up on the computer you're going to find that you can't really use them for anything until they've been processed we can't use them for facebook we can't print them we can't do anything and if you look at those raw files they're going to look flat and they're going to look kind of boring the lack contrast they look rather unfinished essentially a raw file is like having all the ingredients to a cake but not having the actual cake you just have everything laid out in front of you for you to decide how you want to bake that cake and that's, what makes the raw format so powerful that later on, in post crossing, we can choose to do what everyone with that cake or, in our case, the image file, you can process raw files with a whole host of applications. Each manufacturer most likely will give you their own rob processing application when you buy the camera. So for example, nikon, they refer to theirs as view an ex, but you can also use third party applications as well, such as adobe light room, which is what we most frequently used. Also, photo shop has a built in adobe camera. Ross, you have a whole host of these applications that can process raw files. Now, you may notice that when you're in light room or the third party processing applications, it'll frequently ask youto update them that's, because as new cameras come out, those proprietary raw formats are not yet supported, so they have to build that support in tow, like into camera into aperture and that's. Why we need to constantly update them, but when it comes to getting the most out of our images, raw is always going to be the better format. It's, going to give you higher quality is going to give you more details, gonna give you more flexibility and no way can change the white balance till whatever we want, we can add contrast, removed contrast, we can add sharpness, we could do anything with the raw file, whereas with a jpeg file, well, we're going to be limited to basically whatever the camera gives us, we can add on top of that, but we can't remove from what the cameras given us. So when it comes to getting the best image at your camera, we always recommend shooting and raw, but if you're not intending to process those images, well, j peg might be the better option. So here's a rule thumb for me when I'm shooting for the family when I'm around my family shooting barbecues and just fun events where I want to have images, just a vote online as soon as I can, I don't wantto process these images come not trying to get the craziest dynamic range and out of these images, well, all this shoot them in j peg, but when I'm out in scenes like this, where I want to capture the maximum amount of dynamic range of my shot then I'm going to shoot rob because I want to get that out of the camera. All right? So, let's, go ahead and look at this scene here. Now, what I'm going to demonstrate to you is the amount of additional dynamic range that we have in flexibility that we have in post production with the raw file versus j peg files. So let me show you what I mean about dynamic range. First, I'm gonna go ahead. I have my canon rebel here on my photo tripod. We have the standard eighteen to fifty five lens on and I'm gonna bring up the live. You all right? So check this out. So one one hundredth of a second we can see all the details that are in the shadows. We see the rocks and all that kind of sand in the rocks and everything. But we don't see anything in the sky. The water's blown out, the skies blown out. Everything up there in that bright area is completely out of the range and that's the dynamic range of referring to so if I go up here and I bring this up to say one, two, fifty again we seymour of the water appearing, we have to keep going up at around one five hundred cc again. Maur the sky, maur, the water, but again, the rocks started dark enough. Too much again, going upto one one thousandth of a second does the same thing upto one, two thousand. Now we can see all of the sky. We see all the detail in the water, but now are rocks are basically pitch black. This is where rock and really help us out because we can shoot somewhere in between. We taught you and using the history and to maximize the tonal range, and then we can use the raw file format to basically bring that out in post production. Now I'm gonna go ahead and shoot this shot on my nikon and there's a couple of days so that we talked about this a little earlier, but the nikon dpt two hundred has a sensor that can capture two additional stops of dynamic range naturally over the rebels, so we're going to get basically more detail in the highlights, more detail in the shadows and get a better image. And this is really a better camera when it comes to a landscape photography when compared to this canon rebel. If you're shooting a lot of landscape images, this is one area that nikon currently holds the lead on because they have amazing dynamic range in their cameras up to basically fourteen stops. Which most cannon is around eleven to say twelve and a half. All right, so, let's, go ahead and switch this camera out right here. It's always awkward dinners have to put it under my arm and everything. And hold where did I put it? Let's see it, let's. Just go right there for a second. Ok? It's, time that up. Let's. Go ahead and get the kind of composition now what I'm going for here, I'm gonna frame kind of the, uh, the horizon line at the one third line. And we're gonna go for mostly sky here. So it's gonna be mostly sky with the tide pools at the bottom. All right, so I'm gonna go ahead and switch to live you and pull out this little viewfinder so you guys can see it a little better, okay? Let's, go and switch in a live view and what we're gonna do is just kind of approximate where we need to be, and we're going to check our history. Graham in the playback. All right, so it looks like it's fairly exposed correctly were a one one thousandth of a second f seven point one is a one hundred. I'm gonna take a quick shot here and let's see where our history graham gives us. So it looks like it's almost spot on, actually, which is awesome. It kind of came over from our last let's go up again. I'm getting up on the d pad there's our history you can see the shadows air all the way, the left side, but we haven't clip them. The highlights are always right side where we have the son of the brightest point and that's perfect. We've maximized the tonal range in the shot. We've got almost everything in this one single shot now captured this in rob, plus j pegs. So now I can show you the difference between the raw file versus the jpeg baldwin process, and there is a massive difference there. Hopefully, from this example, you see how much more information and how much more flexibility we have in the raw file format over j peg. So once again, here's my rule of thumb when I'm looking to get best out of the camera. When I'm trying to get the best image possible, or the most flexibility and postproduction, I'll shoot in the raw format. When I'm looking for flexibility and being able to use the images right away, be ableto, post them online, share them and print them. I'm gonna shoot jpeg, or if I need to save on space when I'm in situations where I need both. And that does happen if I want to basically have a raw file to use later on to get the most out of my image, but something immediate to use. Right now, I'm gonna shoot rob, plus j peg and that'll give me both files for every single shot that I take. But keep buying. This will. Fill the buffer and your memory card very, very quickly, but I have a little assignment for you all. I want to go to shoot any scene. You could pick anything that you want, preferably a high dynamic range scene, and what I want to do is shoot it with the raw plus j function. Take both those files into your favorite post processing editor of choice, and basically play with both files. See how the raw file gives you more flexibility, gives him or range. It gives you more options that you can use, and check out how the jpeg looks better initially, but it gives you less flexible down what you can do, what you can add and what you can remove. That's it for this video, that's it for the differences, and robert j peg, let's, head on to the next video now.